News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Auto Racing

May 13, 2012

Rookies rule Indy practice speed charts

Newgarden only driver over 220 mph on opening day

INDIANAPOLIS — Rookies ruled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the opening day of practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Rookie Josef Newgarden topped the speed charts Saturday with a clocking of 220.250 mph. Newgarden, who drives for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, led the field most of the day with speeds of 219 plus, hitting 220 toward the end of the day.

“It’s pretty cool. It was a good day for the series,” Newgarden said. “The car is really good and the speeds are only going to get better.”

Last year’s Indy 500 runner-up, Panther Racing’s J.R. Hildebrand, turned in a 219.693 to push rookie Bryan Clauson out of the second position.

“It is nice for us to be able to turn the page and for us to roll out with some speed is a nice way for us to get started this month,” Hildebrand said.

Clauson finished third quickest with his top speed of 219.632. Clauson is SFH’s second entry for Indy.

“I don’t know that it could have gone much better,” he said. “We were really quick out of the gate. The fastest laps can be misleading because of the tow you catch, but even by ourselves, Josef and I were very quick all day. It will be interesting to see as the month goes on where guys end up. It’s hard to tell who’s flat-out at this point and who is not. But I felt really good about our car and the program we have in place for the rest of the month.”

Clauson was followed by Dale Coyne Racing’s James Jakes, who clocked a 218.286. Tony Kanaan was the second veteran to make the top five with his best speed at 217.741.

“We were just trying to get everybody into the Indy 500 mood. We ran the T-car [back-up car] today to make sure everything was all right and we have no concerns there. It was a smooth day,” said Kanaan.

Charlie Kimball and Helio Castroneves also ran speeds above 217. Simon Pagenaud (another rookie), Justin Wilson and Scott Dixon rounded out the top 10, with all hitting speeds at more than 217.

Twenty-six drivers recorded 693 laps for the day. Several teams went out in their back-up cars for shakedowns.

“I think we are going to have some good stuff to show to people. I think the fans will really enjoy it, Newgarden commented.

He said he was pleasantly surprised by how well the car did in traffic.

“It wasn’t as bad as I had earlier predicted and hopefully that bodes well for the race. Hopefully, we can run close enough, make some passes and put on a really good show,” Newgarden added.

Hildebrand is optimistic about the new car.

“It’s nice to have some new challenges to face, with the car and the engines,” he said. “It’s fun for us and creates a little bit more adversity that everyone is dealing with. For the teams and drivers, we are all a little more cognizant of who is out there and are they getting tows, because we don’t really know what it’s going to be all about.”

Newgarden and Clauson are graduates of the Mazda Road to Indy program and Newgarden strongly believes the program is producing high-quality drivers who one day will run Indianapolis.

“There are a lot of young Americans coming down the pipelines who are winning races and leading championships,” he pointed out. “I believe it is our job to try and nurture that talent and get it to the top level. It is so difficult now to make it into this top rank.”

“There is a good crop of young drivers coming up through the ranks,” Hildebrand said, adding that he agrees with Newgarden that those drivers need to be watched and given opportunities to drive.

Only two Andretti cars made it onto the track Saturday, with the team choosing to preserve tires and equipment.

Marco Andretti was the first Andretti Autosport driver on the oval. He turned four shakedown laps in the No. 17 car before handing it off to its driver, Sebastian Saavedra.

“I’m anxious to get out there tomorrow in the 26 car,” Andretti said. “I thought the 17 car was pretty good and had a good pace for what the wing settings were, so that’s encouraging to me. I think we’re going to be fast and I can’t wait.”

Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe was the first car on the track. He was soon joined by teammates Castroneves and Will Power, who ran a three-wide formation down the front straightaway.

Five of the rookies — Rubens Barrichello, Newgarden, Jakes, Clauson and Pagenaud — passed all three phases of their rookie test, while Jean Alesi and Wade Cunningham have passed two. Michel Jourdain passed all three phases of a refresher. Jourdain last raced in the Indy 500 in 1996.

IndyCar officials announced that turbocharger boost levels will increase for Fast Friday and the two qualification days. The standard boost level of 130 kilopascals will increase for those days to 140. That boost will add 40-50 horsepower.

Practice continues at noon today. Gates open at 10 a.m.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Auto Racing
  • bb8991b19af8b067e44478c_.jpg VIDEO: Windom seeking strong start to USAC Silver Crown Series at Action Track

    Chris Windom has big plans.
    Sure, the 23-year-old would like to make the ascent from success in the U.S. Auto Club to the fame and fortune of the larger racing series of NASCAR.
    The Canton, Ohio, native who makes his home in West Lafayette has his sights on a big USAC season in 2014. Windom was second in Silver Crown points in 2013 and ninth in the sprint series.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo 1 Video

  • Trackside: If weather cooperates, racers are set to start their engines

    With any assistance from the weather, the Wabash Valley motorsports season is expected to shift into high gear this weekend on several fronts.

    April 2, 2014

  • Jim Nabors at Indy 500.jpg Nabors to sing ‘Indiana’ one last time at IMS

    INDIANAPOLIS — Beloved actor-entertainer and legendary Indianapolis 500 icon Jim Nabors will sing “(Back Home Again in) Indiana” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the final time prior to the start of the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25. Watch YouTube Video

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • gary bettenhausen.jpg Action Track great Gary Bettenhausen dies

    Gary Bettenhausen, a legend of the Terre Haute Action Track, has died at age 72.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kurt Busch to try Indy 500, Coca-Cola 600 on same day

    It’s been 10 years since a driver last attempted running both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, a feat so grueling that only Tony Stewart has successfully completed all 1,100 miles.
    Now Kurt Busch wants to give “the double” a try and he will have cars capable of winning both races.

    March 4, 2014

  • Kurt Busch 70 percent sure he’ll run in Indy 500

    Kurt Busch put his chances at “70 percent” at running the Indianapolis 500 this year because of recent developments that have pushed a potential program along.

    January 27, 2014

  • Doctors tell Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti he can no longer race

    Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti said Thursday that doctors have told him he can no longer race because of injuries sustained in an IndyCar crash last month.

    November 14, 2013

  • Trackside: Burns, Fitzpatrick provide fun moments at Putnamville

    In a season that has generated more than its share of down moments for Wabash Valley fans and racers, last Saturday’s “King of non-wing Sprints” program at Lincoln Park Speedway served notice that there are still a few positive storylines to be found in the wild and unpredictable sport of sprint-car racing.
    One such storyline unfolded this past weekend on the rough and challenging 5⁄16-mile Putnamville dirt oval. That’s where the runs of Eric Burns and Blake Fitzpatrick sent fans home feeling that if the season has to come to a close, it couldn’t end on a happier or brighter note.

    September 25, 2013

  • SPT 083113 MODIFIED.jpg Coons Jr. wins USAC Tony Hulman/Jim Hurtubise Classic at Action Track

    For all but one race during its 2013 racing season, the Terre Haute Action Track has taken a beating from Mother Nature.

    August 31, 2013 7 Photos

  • Trackside: Stewart proves versatility is one of his strongpoints

    At a time each summer when stock-car racing takes center stage in the heart of open-wheel racing territory, it was Tony Stewart who emerged the big winner last weekend.
    No, not Tony Stewart the race driver but Tony Stewart the owner. He’s the undisputed leader on two racing fronts — the car owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series with Ryan Newman as his driver and the owner-operator of Eldora Speedway. The popular Indiana native posted impressive showings in both ventures.

    August 1, 2013

  • MET071513 track.jpg Precipitation has been unkind to Action Track in 2013

    Bob Sargent has seen it all and done it all in 30 years of motorsports track promotion. The Terre Haute Action Track promoter isn’t going to be fazed by much, but even he had to admit there is one thing that has sent a shiver down his spine in 2013.
    The weather forecasts. He was asked if watching the weather has given him anxiety in a wet year.
    “Sometimes,” Sargent chuckled. “But doing it this long, it becomes normal. I don’t if it’s nervousness so much as it’s frustrating. Rain is a big letdown.”
     

    July 17, 2013 2 Photos

  • Trackside: Sprint Week is fun week for USAC fans

    With three rounds down and four to go, the 2013 version of Indiana Sprint Week is ready to take center stage at the Terre Haute Action Track tonight — weather permitting, of course.
    It’s hard not to mention the elements when talking racing at the Action Track this season.
    Race organizers Reece O’Connor and Bob Sargent have felt the sting of Mother Nature worse than most Midwest promoters this spring and summer with all five of their scheduled shows washed out.

    July 17, 2013

  • Track opener is facing another iffy forecast

    Two of the biggest challenges facing race organizers are the constant bouts with the always unpredictable ways of the weather and trying to please the insatiable appetites of a fickle fan base.

    July 10, 2013

  • TRACKSIDE: Crossroads Dragway hoping to build off big event

    It was a day of firsts at Crossroads Dragway this past weekend.
    No, not because the sun actually made its first all-day appearance of the season at the drag-racing facility, but for the unveiling of a new racing format that just might alter the looks of 1/8-mile member track NHRA bracket racing.

    June 26, 2013

  • SPT062013racing clauson.jpg Metro roundup: For 2nd time, Hulman Classic postponed

    Qualifying laps had concluded for the 43rd running of the Tony Hulman Classic on Friday when the weather struck for the third time this season — second time for the Classic — at the Terre Haute Action Track.

    June 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • stockon in action.jpg Hulman Classic on Friday at Action Track

    With rainouts having postponed his only two Terre Haute Action Track cards so far in 2013, promoter Bob Sargent remains optimistic about the rescheduled Tony Hulman Classic for U.S. Auto Club sprint cars taking place Friday night.

    June 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • Finding best talent the key to all sports, including auto racing

    The success of any sporting franchise often rests with the ability of owners to find and mold talent into a winning combination.

    June 20, 2013

  • SPT 052613 KANAAN KISS.jpg Kanaan can: Tony Kanaan finally wins Indy 500, ends heartbreak

    Tony Kanaan had been so close so many times in the Indianapolis 500 until Sunday. Now he’s a winner.

    May 27, 2013 2 Photos

  • SPT 052613 KANAAN KNEES.jpg Crowd, competitors erupt in celebration for Brazilian driver

    Tony Kanaan has always been philosophical about his not winning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    May 27, 2013 2 Photos

  • Rookies fare well in 97th running of the Indy 500

    Rookies did real well in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    May 27, 2013

  • IndyCar Indy 500 Auto_Tayl.jpg Top guns, again

    For the sixth time in his Indy career Friday, three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves won the Pit Stop Challenge on Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    May 25, 2013 4 Photos

  • Looking for Indy breakthrough, Kanaan enjoying role as team mentor

    Ask any IZOD IndyCar series champion and he’d say he would gladly give up that championship to win one Indianapolis 500.

    May 24, 2013

  • TRACKSIDE: Local drivers, owners looking to have strong night at Tony Hulman Classic

    In its rich 43-year history, the Tony Hulman Sprint Car Classic has long carried on a strong local racing tradition.
    From its early beginnings starting in 1971, the U.S. Auto Club-sanctioned event has been the annual centerpiece of the racing calendar at the Terre Haute Action Track as well as a key stop on the USAC sprint schedule and one of the most sought after wins in big league sprint-car racing.

    May 22, 2013

  • Carpenter arrives as Indy 500 threat

    And the crowd went wild.
    Not only did Ed Carpenter win the pole for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500, he is the hometown son. Carpenter, the stepson of Tony George, completed his rookie orientation in 2004 and has spent the last several years, proving he deserved to be the IZOD IndyCar Series. There is no questioning his credentials now.

    May 19, 2013

  • Carpenter wins Indy 500 pole

     Ed Carpenter is on the pole for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.
    The native of Marshall, Ill., earned the No. 1 spot for the May 26 race with a strong run in the Fast Nine competition at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday. He is the first American driver on the pole since 2006.

    May 19, 2013

  • TRACKSIDE: Rain still a pain for Wabash Valley racing organizers

    Soggy weather conditions, which have rightfully drawn the ire of Wabash Valley race fans and crews in recent days, continue to plague promoters where it hurts the most — their pocketbooks.

    May 8, 2013

  • TRACKSIDE: Tough to rise from sprint-car racing, especially in challenging financial times

    Open-wheel sprint-car racing, whether it be at the national or local level, has earned a reputation over the years of generating its share of thrills and excitement for its fans and a valuable training ground for drivers seeking to hone their skills that someday might elevate them to the “major leagues” of their sport.

    May 3, 2013

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Rose baseball wins another thriller

    Rose-Hulman earned its third victory in its last at-bat in the last five days with a 6-5 win over Franklin in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball Tuesday night at Art Nehf Field.

    May 1, 2013

  • East gets jump at SUMAR Classic

    In his relatively brief but successful racing career, young Bobby East has at times unfairly been labeled as a driver who could master the pavement ovals but one who was still a work in progress on the dirt.

    October 15, 2012

  • Hurtubise, Sumar races on Action Track slate this weekend

    Championship racing is scheduled this weekend at the Terre Haute Action Track with U.S. Auto Club features set for today and Saturday.
    One USAC championship will be decided and the spread in the other division could widen or tighten up as a result of the races.
    The Jim Hurtubise Classic for sprint cars is today. Only 26 points separate three drivers in the point totals.

    October 12, 2012

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Today in History for April 18th Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor
NDN Video
The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity